Hello, zHamster here, and thanks for taking a look at this! First things first: this is a 10th gen and 1st gen family fanfic. There will be OCs in the future, but not extremely prominent ones. It still centers around the two generations. Second: the rating is for very mild swearing and mild violence. It may very likely change in the future chapters due to some slightly worse language and violence.
Also, since school is starting again next week for me and I'm still finishing up another story, so I probably won't be updating often at all (expect something like 1.5-2 weeks a chapter or so). But I won't be abandoning the story, I'll finish it one way or another.
Anyway, this is a short first chapter, the next few will be longer. I'm sorry if the writing quality isn't all that great, but please enjoy! I would very much appreciate feedback, suggestions, and constructive criticism in reviews/pms, whatever you'd like. Thanks!
Disclaimer: Akira Amano is the author of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, I do am not related to that in any way. Characters, minus a few OCs, are all hers as well. This applies to the entire fanfic.
Chapter 1: Prologue
"What's wrong, No-Good Tsuna? You nothin' without your buddies to protect you?"
Tsuna gritted his teeth and wiped away fresh blood that flowed out of a cut. He glared defiantly at the three sixth graders towering over him. He wouldn't yield; he may have been physically weak, but he wouldn't bow down to bullies.
The leader of the gang pushed Tsuna back down onto the floor with a knee. "You're really tough to crack for a kid so weak. How about this; if you apologize and kiss my foot, we'll let you off. So get apologizing."
He sat up again with the same look in his eyes, his mouth shut tight. He stared at the concrete floor. He wouldn't apologize to bullies. That would be wrong.
"Do you know how to talk?" another one snarled, nudging Tsuna with his foot. "Or are you too stupid to even do that? Huh? Open your mouth and say something."
Tsuna looked up and the three smiled triumphantly. He opened his mouth, and the words that came out were full of scorn.
"I won't apologize. Ever."
"You brat! I'm gonna-!"
Tsuna averted his gaze and braced himself for further torture. He heard a crack of a fist meeting bone, followed by cries of pain. Not from himself.
"You freakin' cowards! What're you doing fighting our boss three on one? What kind a' fight is that? Screw you, and get outta here before I smash your heads in."
He felt several hands pulling him up to his feet. Tsuna sighed with relief. It was finally over.
"Man, that must have hurt." A hand brushed the dirt off of his clothing. "Are you going to be all right, Tsuna?"
"Yeah," he replied with a weak smile. "…Thanks, Hayato, Takeshi."
"It was nothing," Takeshi answered with a grin. "We're family after all, right?"
Hayato nodded, his silver hair bobbing a bit. "No need to thank us, boss. We'll definitely be there when you need us." He scowled and looked in the direction in which the bullies ran off. "Those bastards better not come back, or I really will kill them."
"My, how violent, Hayato. You're quite the bad influence on some of our family's more tender members, you know. Especially with that foul language of yours."
Takeshi turned around with a smile and a wave, Hayato with a scowl, and Tsuna with surprise, to meet three other familiar faces.
"Mukuro, Chrome, and onii-san…!"
"Who the hell asked you, pineapple head?" Hayato growled.
"Why the blatant shock, Tsunayoshi?" Mukuro asked with a frown, only honoring Hayato with a simple displeased glance. "We go to the same school."
Ryohei put a hand on Tsuna's shoulder as he examined the boy's wounds. "What you did there, that was extremely brave, Tsuna. You have my complete respect for it," he said solemnly.
Chrome clasped her hands together. "Tsuna… a-are you all right?" When Tsuna nodded, she gave a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness…"
"Come on, it's all right, guys," said Takeshi with an encouraging smile, patting the girl on the shoulder. "After we get back, Tsuna'll be all patched up and good to go. If anything happens again, we'll all be here to help, right? That way, there's no problem."
Mukuro sighed. "I suppose so. If it'll make Chrome happy." He ruffled his little sister's soft purple hair with a grin. Chrome blushed and smiled shyly in return.
"Everyone…" Tsuna managed a meek smile, despite the fact that it made his face hurt. "Let's go back now, okay? Everyone will start worrying if we're late."
"Of course, boss!" Hayato cried. He put his arm around Tsuna, supporting the boy's weight to make it easier to walk. "Baseball idiot, you take the other side. And be careful."
Takeshi laughed and did as he was told. "Yep! Here we go, Tsuna!"
Mukuro was the only one who bothered to look back behind them, smirking at the lone skylark who watched them from the distance. The other boy frowned and looked away, evoking a chuckle from Mukuro. He turned back forward with an amused glint in his eyes.
The group started walking home, Tsuna in the middle of everyone. He felt safe with them; they were the people that he had grown up with, and he had learned that they were all quite reliable in their own ways. But... something was missing. Different. He shook his head and ignored it. If his hyper intuition had nothing to say, then it must have been nothing, right?
"You should be more careful in the future, Tsuna," Knuckle preached as he tended to the boy's wounds carefully. "Seeing you children getting into fights must really make the Lord sad. I know it's not your fault, but please try not to get hurt, alright?"
"Yes, Uncle Knuckle," Tsuna replied politely. "I'll try my best."
Knuckle smiled and patted the child's head. "Good boy. Now, I'm finished treating your wounds. Would you like to see your father now?
Tsuna nodded slowly. "Okay."
After watching for a moment longer, Knuckle nodded, standing up straight. "Alright, then. I'll go get him now. Stay still, he'll be here in a moment."
Tsuna waited with a thoughtful frown, swinging his legs impatiently. He couldn't see himself, but he could imagine what he looked like with all those bandages. Terrible. It was no wonder everyone was worried. He wished they weren't.
Not a minute after Knuckle had left, Giotto burst through the door and ran up to Tsuna with the most pained expression on his face and knelt down on one knee. The other adults peeked through the doorway curiously.
"Tsuna, my goodness," Giotto cried, "Are you alright? Who did this to you?"
"Nobody…" Tsuna answered quietly, trying not to look his father in the eye. "Dad, you don't have to worry about me."
The blonde stood up and gazed right into his boy's eyes. "Tsuna, what are you talking about? I'm your father, how could I not worry? You come home almost every week like this. Please, Tsuna… if you give me a name, I can go to the principal and sort out the problem from there."
"You don't have to, Dad," the boy asserted. "I'll be fine."
"Tsuna… please don't keep it all to yourself." Giotto placed a hand on Tsuna's shoulder. "We can do something about this. If we don't, it'll never stop. This is something that you can't handle alone, Tsuna, so please let me help."
The words 'you can't handle alone' repeated themselves in Tsuna's mind. He looked at Giotto with earnest eyes and deep wrinkles between them. "Are you saying that I'm useless?"
Tsuna stood up with clenched fists, the expression on his face very unsuitable for a nine-year old boy. "I'm tired of always being protected by everyone! I'm not a baby anymore, but everyone is always worrying about me and trying to do something. I… I just want to be alone for a while."
Before Giotto could react, Tsuna pushed past him and ran out of the room, tears beginning to gather in his eyes. He didn't even look at his uncles as he ran down the hall, even when they called out to him.
"That kid..." G muttered. "What got into him all of a sudden? I'll go and-"
"G." Asari put a hand on the redhead's shoulder. "Please wait. Let me go instead. I want talk with Tsuna alone for a while."
G stared hard at the rain guardian before grudgingly moving aside. He had to admit that the man was good with children. Asari nodded gratefully and proceeded forward with swift, long steps, disappearing from view in a matter of seconds.
Giotto, who hadn't moved since Tsuna had first stood up, sighed deeply and took a seat, covering his face with one hand. He was worn out to the core, and Tsuna's sudden outburst didn't help. G, Knuckle, and Lampo watched him with visible worry, but they knew that they couldn't do anything but hope that Asari would be successful.
Asari knocked gently on the door to Tsuna's bedroom, which was also shared by Hayato and Takeshi. But the Japanese man knew that the young brunette was the only one inside at that moment, most likely crying.
He waited a minute, and receiving no response, he called out, "Tsuna? It's me, Uncle Asari. May I… come in?"
Hearing a quiet 'yes' from inside, Asari carefully opened the door and stepped inside, immediately shutting it. He saw Tsuna lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. There were stains on the boy's cheeks from his tears earlier, but his eyes were dry.
With a calm, soothing smile, Asari made his way to Tsuna and sat down at the edge of the bed. He placed a hand on the little boy's smaller one. Tsuna gave him a brief glance, and looked back up at the ceiling.
"Tsuna, you don't mind if we had a little chat, do you?" Asari asked softly. Tsuna shook his head, much to his relief. Things were going smoothly so far. "Well, how are you feeling right now?"
Tsuna frowned and sadness filled his large, brown eyes. He looked so forlorn that just watching him made Asari feel bad. "…Lonely."
Asari put his arms around Tsuna and gradually lifted the boy onto his lap in a comforting embrace. "Why do you feel so lonely, Tsuna? You have such a big family. Just think of all of your uncles and cousins who live with us. Your father too… he's a very loving man. I know that he makes mistakes sometimes, but we all do. Everything he does is what he thinks if best for you, Tsuna."
He began to rock back and forth very slowly. "You're the lucky boy of the family, you know. Takeshi and Hayato are always around you. Ryohei treats you as his little brother, very much like he is with Kyoko. Even Mukuro and Kyoya love you very much, although they usually don't show it much, and you are one of the people that best understand Chrome."
Tsuna was beginning to look slightly better, so Asari ruffled his messy brown hair affectionately. "I don't even need to mention your uncles. Every one of us loves you very much, and you should know that your father loves you the most. So why do you still feel lonely, Tsuna? You have so many people around you."
The little boy thought for a while. His eyes suddenly turned watery and he sniffed, making Asari stare in shock. This outcome wasn't expected. It was the opposite of what was expected.
"I… I miss Mommy…" Tsuna muttered shakily. "M-Mommy…"
As Tsuna began to cry harder than ever, the most Asari could do was hug the boy and wipe away the tears. Even he couldn't find the words that could possibly comfort the little boy. There really wasn't anything he could do, or anyone else for that matter.
None of them could bring back the deceased.
"So why was the kid crying earlier?" G asked offhandedly as Asari entered living room. The scowl on his face disappeared quickly when he noticed the other man's unusually dejected expression. "Hey, what happened to you?"
"A-Asari's… sad?" Lampo murmured, opening both eyes to see it more clearly. "Huh?"
Daemon's mouth curved up into a slight smirk. "Oh? What did little Tsunayoshi say to make you so depressed, Ugetsu?"
"Daemon, don't say things like that," Elena chided with a frown. "Really… it's starting to rub off on Mukuro already."
Giotto's brow furrowed further looking at his friend. "Asari…? What happened between you and Tsuna? He didn't cause any trouble, did he?"
Asari swallowed and steeled himself to look up at his boss. "No… it's about…" He took a deep breath. "Celeste…"
It came out as a whisper, but each person heard it loud and clear. Even Daemon's smirk immediately dropped. They all instinctively glanced at Giotto. Everything seemed to be another burden for him. Giotto was calm at the moment, but definitely not all right. He closed his eyes, and his guardians feared for a moment that he would actually cry. Instead, he spoke.
"I see… I guess a month is far too short. He's a just a kid…" The man squeezed his eyes shut in pain. "I just regret ever bringing them into our world… Why? We knew from the very beginning, but…"
Knuckle clasped his hands together in a silent prayer. "Giotto, don't take all of the blame for yourself. All of us are at fault here."
"If you're just here to reminisce, then I'm leaving," said Alaude as he stood up, ignoring the cries and pleas from his fellow guardians and Elena. Before he reached the door, however, he turned around a last time with his cold gaze directed at his boss. "You used to be better than that, Giotto. I'm disappointed."
He turned forward again and walked off, his black coat fluttering behind him, leaving the others behind in a deep, deep silence.